I’ve been dropping not-so-sublte hints for awhile now as Sal and I have been considering our options, but it’s official: After we get married in August, we’ll be moving back to my home town of Cocoa Beach, Florida.
There are lots of good reasons for this, several of which should come as no surprise.
First, there’s a fantastic house for us to move into. Friends from “back home” in Florida are familiar with the house I grew up in, which is a block from the ocean, has a canal with a dock, a pool, a jacuzzi, four bedrooms (FOUR!), two full bathrooms and a half-bath, and lots of space inside. (Currently there’s lots of stuff in the house, but we’ll be on a long journey to empty the house and make it a beautiful home again.)
Second, the cost of living is incredibly cheaper there. There’s the simple fact that our housing costs will be dramatically lower, but there’s also the lack of state or city income tax (and thus, I get the equivalent of a very nice raise just by keeping more of my paycheck each month). Granted, we’ll have to trade in our Metrocards and reacquire vehicles, but that’s a price I’m willing to pay.
Third, and probably most significantly, it’s a great place to start a family. Not just for the two reasons listed above; the public schools in Cocoa Beach are great, there’s a terrific prepaid college program, there are a ton of child-friendly activities in the area, and of course, there’s a large support network of family and friends. In fact, on our most recent visit to the area, we were both astounded by how many of our friends there are raising young children, and it was very easy to imagine ourselves settling into that lifestyle too. And with laws changing in the last couple of years to the point that adoption is now a possibility in Florida for a gay parent, one of the last major barriers is falling.
Leaving New York City is going to be a very difficult thing to do, of course, as we both truly love living here. But with all of the above considerations, having a fresh start and gearing up for starting a family really just makes the most sense for us right now. So after the wedding we’re going to start getting ready to move, and when our lease expires at the end of September, we’re hitting the road.
There are other considerations involving work and school, but those can wait for another post… For now, I’m just excited at the next phase of our adventure together. This time next year, I’ll be enjoying early April in sunny Florida instead of fighting off freezing weather in New York.